Learning Management Systems | News

College Students Launch New Student Engagement Platform

Last year, economics major Justin Chando and computer science major Tim Costa, both students at Lafayette College in Easton, PA, began talking about creating a classroom management system to meet the changing needs of K-12 students and teachers. Their brainstorming began in a 4 a.m. study break during final exams and led to the creation of Chalkup, a student engagement platform  that employs social networking tools and an interactive platform to facilitate online learning with video chat, instant messaging, group messaging, discussion boards and Twitter.

Costa, now a junior, and Chando, who recently graduated, describe Chalkup as a learning, communication and social studying platform for discussions, assignments, course materials, messages and flashcards. Teachers can create and share assignments, store and view class materials, post grades and annotate inline on student assignment submissions. They can also send classwide messages, and students are notified via text message or e-mail. Chalkup's iPhone app allows students and teachers to manage assignments on the go.

The creators tested a pilot version of the program with 10 professors at Lafayette College last year, and after a private launch in September 2013, Chalkup was adopted by approximately 70 schools, including the Apple Distinguished Point Pleasant Beach School District (NJ). 

Chalkup is hosted via cloud storage, so Chando and Costa can conduct their business from both home and college — and while visiting participating schools every week. To encourage more feedback from teachers and students, they have also formed a student advisory board. 

About the Author

Christopher Piehler is editor in chief of THE Journal.

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